Definition of rail

The sides of a table's frame upon which the elastic cushions are mounted. May also be used interchangeably with cushion.

24 Random Essential Billiards Terms

Accidentally causing the cue ball or any object ball to leave the table. It is normally a foul.
More commonly known as "straight pool", it was for many years the most popular game in pool and the game on which all World Championships were based.
14.1 is a call-shot game played with all 15 numbered balls and cue ball. Every ball pocketed counts as one point and a game is played to a agreed up score, generally 50, 100, or 150 points.
Traditional straight pool matches are played to 150 points.14.1 is also called "continuous pool" because, after the opening break, play continues until a player reaches the winning score. When only one numbered ball is left on the table, the remaining 14 are racked (with the apex ball missing), and play continues.
Principally British: In snooker, if a player wins a match without the need for the final session to be played (for example, if a player wins a best-of-25-frames match split into three sessions - two sessions of eight frames and one of nine - by a margin of say, 13 frames to 3), then they are said to have won the match "with a session to spare".
When playing 9 Ball, a dead ball is an object ball the falls into a pocket when a foul has been committed (for example, the shooter scratches or does not hit the lowest ball first). If keeping score by counting balls fallen, neither player gets the point for that ball.
Same as position. "She got good shape for the next shot". See also position play, leave.
When the rules of the opening break are broken. Ex: If not enough balls contact with rails off the break.
An agreement between two players in a tournament, one of whom will advance to a guaranteed money prize if the match is won, to give a certain percentage of that money to the loser of the match. Also known as a saver.
A form of doubles play in which the two team members take turns, playing alternating shots during an inning (i.e. each team's inning consists of two players' alternating visits, each of one shot only, until that team's inning ends, and the next team begins their alternating-shot turn.) Effective scotch doubles play requires close communication between team partners, especially as to desired cue ball position for the incoming player. Like "english", "scotch" is usually not capitalized in this context. The term is also used in bowling, and may have originated there.
Chiefly American: The cushion on the head rail. Compare bottom cushion; contrast foot cushion.
This is a shot on the cue ball that will push through to a frozen ball on the cue ball. If the contact is made on the object ball while the cue stick is still contacting, essentially pushing the second ball, then it is usually considered a foul.
Same as spot
Same as follow (top spin).
A term applied especially in snooker for a type of double off three cushions, e.g. around the baulk colours and into a centre pocket. Such a shot is very difficult to make and would not normally be played as anything more than a shot for nothing.
A players skill level, ball advantage or match advantage when using a handicapping system.
In snooker and British pool, the successful potting of all object balls-on in a single frame.

1- A tip tool with fine, sharp points used to roughen the cue tip to better hold chalk after it has become hardened and smooth from repeated impacts with the cue ball. Tappers are firmly tapped on or pressed against the tip. Scuffers serve the same purpose, but are used differently.

2- Describes a shot where one has a chance to miscue. Usually heard in reference to long draw shots. As in, "It's a tip-tapper!".

A geometric form, usually aluminum, wooden or plastic, used to assist in setting up balls in games like eight-ball, nine-ball, and snooker. The rack allows for more consistently tight grouping of balls, which is necessary for a successful break shot. In most games a triangle-shaped rack capable of holding fifteen balls can be employed, even if the game calls for racking less than a full ball set, such as in the game of nine-ball. For further information, see the Rack (billiards) main article.
In some games, refers to a single frame.
A deliberate foul that leaves the balls in a safe position, reducing the risk of giving a frame-winning chance to the opponent. The miss rule in snooker was implemented primarily to discourage the professional fouls.
Either of the two shorter rails of a billiards or pocket billiards table.
The placement of player(s) automatically in a tournament where some have to qualify, or automatic placement in later rounds.
A player's (or doubles team's) turn at the table, usually ending with a failure to score a point or to pocket a ball, depending on the game, a foul, a safety or with a win. In some games, such as five-pins and killer, a player's inning is always limited to one shot, regardless of the intent and result of the shot. Usually synonymous with visit, except in scotch doubles format. The term is sometimes used to mean both players'/teams' visits combined, e.g. when referring to which inning in which a memorable shot occurred.
A term used in snooker for the potting of all the balls that are racked at the beginning of the frame in a single break (run). The minimum total clearance affords 72 points (barring multiple reds being potted on a single stroke), in the pattern of red then yellow repeatedly until all reds are potted, then all of the colour balls. The maximum break is 147 (barring a foul by the opponent immediately before the break began).
In nine-ball, especially in the UK, a break shot that pots the 9 ball without fouling, in which case the player wins in one shot. See also on the break/snap.
A shot in which the cue ball is struck above its equator with sufficient top spin to cause the cue ball to travel forward after it contacts an object ball. When a cue ball with follow on it contacts an object ball squarely (a center-to-center hit), the cue ball travels directly forward through the space previously occupied by the object ball (and can sometimes even be used to pocket a second ball). By contrast, on a cut shot, a cue ball with follow on it will first travel on the tangent line after striking the object ball, and then arc forward, widening the carom angle.